What's the worst field trip you ever went on in school?

I can think of two.

We had a combined field trip where our elementary school class partnered with a middle school class and took a trip… to the side of a highway, where we went up an embankment and looked for fossils among the rocks left there for decoration. I don’t think anybody found a goddamn thing. I saved a middle-school girl from slipping and falling, and walked around like I was a big fuckin’ hero.

But the worst one has to have been to a water treatment plant. The sights, the smells, disgusted me.

We went to see MacBeth (Roma Polanski) at the local theater in 9th grade for I believe english lit class. Was not impressed. It was dark and confusing, I wasn’t into that kind of dark at time.

Washington, DC. I grew up in Baltimore, and our family used to go to DC fairly often, so it was a huge meh.

When I was in 6th grade we took a field trip to Williamsburg and Jamestown. Nothing wrong with that, except it was the day JFK was shot, which cast a pall over things.

We never had field trips when I was in elementary school (Catholic), and there certainly weren’t any in high school (public).

I did some trips with my GS troop when I was elementary school age but they weren’t school trips. I was on Quiz Bowl in high school so we travelled to other schools, but that’s more like a sports trip, right? Right???

We had an elementary school trip to Washington D.C. to see all the fascinating stuff at the seat of Government.

Unfortunately the trip coincided with the assassination of Martin Luther King and subsequent disturbances. By the time our bus reached Washington the sights were not what the organizers had planned. “See kids? All that dense black smoke? Somewhere in there is the U.S. Capitol building!”

The bus just turned around and we went home.

It was educational in a way.

This wasn’t technically a field trip, but you reminded me of the time my 7th grade science teacher took the class out behind the school to see the school’s septic tank*. Unlike a typical household septic tank, the one at the school was exposed on top, with a lid that could be opened. And he opened the lid so we could all look inside.

*Yes, my middle school had a septic tank. It was built in the 1930s in what at the time was a rural area, although it’s been consumed by suburban sprawl by now.

I think it was our 5th grade teacher who took us on a hike from the Anchorage elementary school I attended all the way out to the Point Woronzof area, which is easily over five miles each way and (at that time) included a very steep hill climb following the road. That was a sad bunch of kids on the way back, after hiking and playing and no water to drink. I remember stumbling along and wishing I was dead.

Maybe not the worst field trip for me, but definitely for the chaperones: Between 6th and 7th grade, I was in a G&T program run by our school district, and we went to the Amana Colonies, two hours away, for a day trip, and on the way back, we took “100 Bottles Of Beer On The Wall” all the way to zero.

I also remember when they served us lunch, and those of you who have had 11- and 12-year-old boys, or were one once themselves, can probably guess how they reacted to the delicious food: “Hey, you know what this looks like? You know what THIS looks like? You know what this looks like?”

My middle school science teacher’s husband worked the sewerage treatment plant in Milwaukee so we got a tour of it. I remember really liking it. Yeah, it smelled and it was really loud, but I still liked it and I’ve been trying to get back to do it again. Every year Milwaukee has an event called “Doors Open Milwaukee”. It lasts a weekend and all the big buildings, the historic buildings, the theaters, the firehouses, the places with interesting stories or ‘behind the scenes stuff’ let people come in and, depending on the location, either wander around or they give guided tours. The majority of these are just ‘show up and walk around’, a few require you to reserve (or buy) a ticket ahead of time, simply because they’re so popular they want to pace everyone so they don’t have a line that takes hours to get through. The water treatment plant’s tickets often sell out (or run out) weeks ahead of time. Even when they don’t, I’ve yet to convince my daughter to do it.

To be fair, the place smells like shit. When you drive over this bridge, in the right circumstances (which happen often), you can smell it. On the other hand, all those shit filled tanks are outside for a reason. I don’t remember it being nearly as bad inside.

PS, for those in Milwaukee, one of the years they let us inside the North Point Water Tower. I got two, oddly good, pictures with a crappy phone. One from the inside and one outside. I had them printed on aluminum, which turned out really well and they’re currently hanging up in my house.

In 4th grade our class had read several Oz books, and we went on a field trip to a writer’s conference where we were supposed to meet one of L. Frank Baum’s grandsons or great-grandsons who was involved in some more recent Oz books.

We got there that day to be informed that Baum had missed the event due to being snowed in, and the replacement they arranged for us was… Greg Evans, the creator of Luann.

Needless to say, it wasn’t much of a replacement and we didn’t really learn much that day.

As a student, the prevailing notion that a field trip -any field trip- was always better than being in class. This is not always the case when I think back to my seventh grade trip to…Gettysburg!

It was a two-hour bus ride to get to Gettysburg and we actually left from the school early. Once there, we got off the bus, stretched and used the facilities and then it was back on the bus where our tour guide joined us. We then endured a three-hour tour…a three-hour tour-- by bus listening to our guide drone endlessly about this field and that one how the battle unfolded, how many men died and so on. Occasionally we were able to get off the bus to get a gander of the fields with our own eyes. We stopped at some cafeteria style building for a 20-minute lunch and then it was back on the bus for the two-hour trip back. And since we got back after the regular school day, we had to wait to get picked up by our parents.

The next day, my classmates collectively agreed that that was the worst trip ever and how we wished we had just stayed in school. yeesh

To watch a trial, but I had gotten car sick on the bus, and sat in the hallway while a teacher gave me mints for some reason

We went to go see the movie People of the Wind in 6th or 7th grade. It was a good movie, but we were too immature for it.

During middle school we took a field trip to one of the local bays which included wading into an area with an oyster bed. I slipped at one point, and one of my shoes came off. I sustained several cuts on my right foot from the oysters. That was the end of that field trip for me :grimacing:.

I think it had to be our 7th grade field trip back in 1986.

We went to an ice cream factory (Borden?) up somewhere on the north side of Houston which sounds cool, but everything cool was only viewable through a window about 25 feet away. So we got to basically make a tour of the ice cream factory at a good distance and through a bunch of windows. Yawn. We did get our choice of ice cream bars at the end though, so that was something.

And a friend had latched onto the script for “Aliens” somehow, and we were reading it before the movie itself came out (it came out in the fall, and this was the spring), so there was that.

I went to Catholic school, and we had some good field trips. like the one in fifth grade where we went to Navy Pier and watched cargo unloaded, the fire department, and a bunch of other touristy places. Since we lived so close to Chicago, many of us had been to the Art Institute, the Field Museum, etc., but had never been to the real tourist spots.

But the worst field trip was in 6th grade. The nun didn’t want to bother making arrangements for bus transport or anything, so we walked three blocks to a city park. It was raining. This wasn’t a park with playground equipment, so we basically stood around getting wet. I think Sister had the only umbrella.

A couple, actually.

Around 4th-5th grade I went on a field trip to Old World Wisconsin, which on paper wasn’t too bad at all; in fact, it was actually somewhat interesting. However, what killed it for me was that it was around 90°F when we went, so I was dripping sweat the whole time. And since the tour took up pretty much the whole school day…yeah, not fun.

We also went to downtown Chicago in 6th grade. Honestly, it was just underwhelming more than anything else, as all we did was shop around and eat at some mediocre pizza place. Bleh.

Most of the field trips I remember were a lot of fun, and our long camping trips were spectacular.

But once we were taken to see the 3D film Comin At Ya and that was a bit weird.

I don’t remember any really awful field trips, though once we went to a fish processing plant and that was mundane.

But there was one very strange excursion of sorts that will stay forever in my mind: when I was in 6th grade, several of us girls worshiped our English teacher - we thought she was the height of glamour. She was getting a Divorce, and mentioned it sometimes in class. In truth it was inappropriate oversharing, but we didn’t see it that way.

Anyway, one day she told her admiring girl fan club that she’d take us to her apartment if we’d clean it for her. Enthralled, about 5 of us went, and we dutifully dusted, vacuumed and mopped for her. After a couple hours of cleaning, she bought us sub sandwiches for dinner. I remember the taste to this day, because they weren’t very good - the filling was some kind of pressed meat - but I was so hungry that it it tasted good any way.

This would have happened around 1979 or 1970. As far as I know the teacher was never reprimanded for her interactions with students. I can’t imagine anything remotely like what she did then would fly today, however.